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RAW vs. JPEG (contd.)

Scene comparison

In the comparison below the difference between JPEG and RAW is a little more subtle, tone is a little darker and detail a little clearer. Probably most noticeable are cleaner edges and lines from the RAW image, no visible moiré or jaggies.

3024 x 2016 (6.1 mp) image size

JPEG (2,575 KB) RAW (as a 1,186 KB JPEG)

RAW exposure latitude

RAW File Converter EX allows you to change the 'Sensitization' (digital exposure compensation) between -1.0 EV and +3.0 EV. Our tests show that there is indeed 1 stop of extra detail in an S2 Pro RAW file which can be 'retrieved' from what appear to be blown-out highlights. The example below was a night scene four second exposure. Some of the brickwork at first appeared overexposed, however as this was shot as RAW we could set the 'Sensitization' to -1.0 to retrieve some of the detail. Images converted to 2304 x 1536 TIFF's and re-saved to JPEG for download purposes.

As shot -1.0 EV 'Sensitization'

Camera Shooting Software

The Camera Shooting Software is part of the optional 'Hyper Utilities' suite. The Camera Shooting Software allows you to perform either remote control shooting or tethered manual shooting using the IEEE 1394 (Firewire) interface.

To use the Camera Shooting Software the S2 Pro must be connected by its IEEE 1394 (Firewire) interface and must be set to '1394 Shooting' mode (record menu option). Upon starting the software the camera will be detected and selected.

After this you are prompted for the operational mode of the software. PC Control mode provides remote control of the camera settings and remote triggering of the shutter release. Camera Control (Normal) provides remote shutter release but camera settings must be set on the camera. Camera Control (Auto acquire) basically turns the computer's hard disk into an external drive for the camera, all camera functions are controlled from the camera, shutter release is made on the camera.

PC Control mode

In PC Control mode the Camera Shooting Software has full control over camera settings and modes, you can modify the exposure mode, exposure settings, sensitivity, sharpness, tone, color, white balance etc. Settings groups can be saved, loaded and reapplied to the camera at any time. Click on the Shoot button to actually take a shot, each shot is stored on the computer hard disk and then displayed in the filmstrip at the bottom of the window, the histogram is representative of the currently selected image.

After each exposure (or when a thumbnail is clicked) the image preview window (example below) is updated with a larger version of the image. You can magnify, pan and save from this window.

Additionally in PC Control mode you can also configure the Camera Shooting Software to take images in a time-lapse fashion, triggering an exposure at a set interval for a certain number of frames. The number of shots, interval, output format, size and directory can be set from the time-lapse settings dialog shown below.

Camera Control (Normal) mode

Camera Control (Normal) mode relinquishes control of camera settings and exposure back to the camera, all settings such as exposure, white balance, image size etc. are set on the camera, the exposure is triggered with the shutter release button on the camera.

Camera Control (Auto acquire) mode

Camera Control (Auto acquire) mode turns the local computer into an external storage device for the camera. You shoot with the camera as you would normally, each shot is automatically saved back to the computer, a small thumbnail of the image is displayed along with detailed exposure information. All settings are made at the camera.

Camera Shooting Software performance

Tests below were carried out using a Sony Vaio R505-TSK (Pentium III 850 Mhz, 256 MB RAM) with built-in IEEE 1394 interface.

Software mode Image format Transfer time per image
PC Control mode *1 JPEG 4256 x 2848 6.5 sec
JPEG 3024 x 2016 5.6 sec
RAW 7.1 sec
Camera Control (Normal) mode *1 JPEG 4256 x 2848 6.5 sec
JPEG 3024 x 2016 5.6 sec
RAW 7.1 sec
Camera Control (Auto) mode JPEG 4256 x 2848 4.5 sec
JPEG 3024 x 2016 4.1 sec
RAW 5.4 sec

*1 These timings appeared to be slower because the software first transfers a 756 x 504 and a 2304 x 1536 image as well as the shot resolution. These additional images appear to be used for the Preview window.
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As I know the S2 offers slightly better resolution (just a small part of overall image quality) and slightly lower speed and practicality than the obsolete Nikon D100. The S2 also costs more than the D100. For my uses I would prefer the D70, and since it costs only half as much as the S2 and is more practical for me. The only real advantage of the S2 is very slightly higher image resolution, which to me is much less significant than all the other disadvantages.

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